Monday, January 4, 2016


Before we knew it we had been in Virginia almost a whole week and it was time for us to move on to stage three of our adventure. We were excited to be able to spend time with Suzy and her family. We always have a great time together and Stella gets along with her kids so well, especially Emilie. They laugh and laugh and laugh. It is adorable.

Saturday we drove to visit Monticello which was Thomas Jefferson's home. I studied it in college and have wanted to visit it ever since. I had no idea what a drive it would be or that when we got there we would have to buy tickets for certain tour times. Thankfully, we were able to get into a children's tour so we didn't have to wait several hours for one of the adult tours. It was pretty expensive too, but it was a really neat place to see.

The inside of the home was very unusual. We were not allowed to take pictures inside, which was hard for me because the light in the home was beautiful. Stella was wide-eyed the whole time and she exclaimed: "I can't believe I am in a president's house!" She and the girls kept hold of the maps throughout our trip and kept us on top of where to go during our visit. It was really a beautiful day, and we even got out a nickel so the girls could see that this famous home is on the back of it.

The garden area was so pretty. You could see trees and trees and trees for miles. Jefferson had a little room with windows on all sides so he could sit and be in the security of a room but feel like he was outside. The man had a lot of inventions.

Before we left for good we went into the bookstore. I love museum bookstores more than anything so honestly I try and avoid them most of the time, but I did help myself to a magnet and an adorable Jefferson book bag because Suzy made me go in...I blame her...

Sunday after church I insisted that we take some family pictures. I wanted to take them as a thank you for letting us stay. And also I know that these guys have not had a family picture since the last time I was there. They just put on quick outfits and we went to an elementary school that evening. The pictures turned out beautiful because these guys are so beautiful. Here are a few of my favorites.

I love Suzy so much. I am glad we are still close. I remember the moment that I realized we would be good friends as companions, we had only been together for about half an hour. I honestly am surprised we have stayed such good friends. I think the main reason is that we can always pick up where we left off and also she is so good at asking questions about me and is invested in my life. Plus she tells me how fun and amazing I am all the time, and so how can I resist her charms? Each night during our stay I would get out her old photo albums and make her look through them with me and tell me all her stories. It made us feel young.

I think one of Stella's favorite parts of the whole visit was that she was able to have real sleepovers with her friends because she actually got to sleep over in their room. She looked forward to it every night. The last night we were there things were getting silly and giggly before bedtime and instead of telling them to keep it down I just encouraged it and took pictures with my phone. So fun.

Stella was so incredibly sad to leave. She had an amazing time in Virginia and I agreed. It was too sad and we didn't want to go home. We had such a great time and made so many memories that it was easy for me to just be happy that we had the opportunity to go. I'm glad we made time for this long visit and that it worked out that we could have three trips in one.

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